Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have landed in the Netherland's southern city of Eindhoven.
Six days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, the first bodies finally arrived Wednesday in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest toll in the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew.
A Dutch Hercules C-130 that Dutch government spokesman Lodewijk Hekking says is carrying 16 coffins was closely followed by an Australian C-17 Globemaster plane carrying 24 coffins.
The planes were met by Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and hundreds of relatives.
The Dutch government declared a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arrival of the first bodies in the afternoon.
Ukraine and western nations are pressing the pro-Russian rebels who control the crash site to allow an unfettered an investigation, something Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would use his influence to achieve.
Though confident that a missile brought down the aircraft, US officials say Russia's role remains unclear.